Posts tagged as:

Montgomery Blair Sibley

May 16 roundup

by Walter Olson on May 16, 2009

  • At Reason “Hit and Run”, Damon Root deems a certain website “indispensable” [accolades file]
  • Montgomery Blair Sibley, colorful lawyer for the “D.C. Madam” and a figure much covered on this site, has new book out [Doyle/McClatchy]
  • Although Indian tribal litigators attacked it as “disparaging”, the Washington Redskins football team can keep its trademark, for now at least. “My ancestors were both Vikings and Cowboys. Do I have a course of action?” [Volokh comments]
  • “Is Patent Infringement Litigation Up or Down?” [Frankel, The American Lawyer]
  • Maryland high court dismisses autism-mercury lawsuit [Seidel, Krauss @ Point of Law]
  • Chrysler dealers are lawyering up against the prospect of being cast off [WSJ Law Blog]
  • “Should doctors who follow evidence-based guidelines be offered liability protection?” [KevinMD]
  • Obama proposes $1.25 billion to settle black farmers’ long-running bias claims against the U.S. Department of Agriculture [AP/Yahoo]

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Montgomery Blair Sibley update

by Ted Frank on December 12, 2008

Not that it’s any surprise to anyone who’s been following these matters, but on Tuesday, Chief Justice Roberts finally got around to denying Overlawyered reader-favorite Montgomery Blair Sibley‘s application for a stay of the order automatically suspending him from practice in the District of Columbia.  While that stay application was pending, the D.C. Board on Professional Responsibility recommended in November that the suspension last three years, “with his reinstatement conditioned upon a showing of fitness to practice.”  The D.C. Bar website still shows Sibley as an “active” member of the bar.

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September 30 roundup

by Walter Olson on September 30, 2008

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As we noted, it was a foregone conclusion under Local Rule 83 after the District of Columbia suspended Sibley, but we now have written confirmation (see Exhibit A at pp. 6-7).

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June 20 roundup

by Walter Olson on June 20, 2008

  • Federal judge: asking employee to get coffee not an intrinsically sexist act [Legal Intelligencer]
  • Kilt-clad Montgomery Blair Sibley, at press conference, adds certain je ne sais quoi to tawdry Larry Sinclair sideshow [Sydney Morning Herald]
  • Remind us why Florida Gov. Crist is supposed to be an acceptable veep pick? [PoL]. Also at Point of Law: Hill’s FISA compromise may end pending telecom-privacy suits; interesting Second Circuit reverse-preference case on New Haven firefighters.
  • Virginia bar authorities shaken by charges that Woodbridge attorney Stephen T. Conrad pocketed $3.4 million in injury settlements at clients’ expense [Va. Lawyers Weekly; case of Christiansburg, Va. lawyer Gerard Marks ties in with first links here]
  • U.K.: Local government instructs staff that term “brainstorming” might be insensitive to persons with epilepsy, use “thought showers” instead [Telegraph; Tunbridge Wells, Kent]
  • Big personal injury law firm in Australia, Keddies Lawyers, denies accusations of client overcharging and document falsification [SMH]
  • Will this be on the bar exam? Massachusetts law school dean eyes war crime trials culminating in hanging for high officials of Bush Administration [Ambrogi and more, Michael Krauss and I at PoL]
  • “Just another cash grab”? New Kabateck Brown Kellner “click-fraud” class actions against Google AdWords, CitySearch [Kincaid, TechCrunch/WaPo]
  • Former Rep. Bob Barr, this year’s Libertarian presidential candidate, is no stranger to the role of plaintiff in politically fraught litigation [six years ago on Overlawyered, and represented by Larry Klayman to boot]

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Welcome readers of the Mary Ann Akers blog in the Washington Post (via M&N). It’s not clear why anyone is still covering the press releases of Mr. Sibley, who has been suspended from practice in the District of Columbia, and thus has no basis to be filing anything in court. While Sibley has appealed his suspension to the U.S. Supreme Court, I will happily wager that the application for a stay is denied, followed by the denial of the writ of certiorari. This is, after all, Mr. Sibley’s twelfth petition for certiorari on his own behalf, and the first eleven (along with five on behalf of clients who were not Mr. Sibley) have all been denied.

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We had earlier held off pronouncing that Sibley was suspended in DC (in addition to Florida), because the DC Bar website was not updated, but we now have a copy of the May 8 suspension order, which was effective May 12, pending final disposition of the reciprocal disciplinary proceeding. Sibley had been representing Barack Obama-accuser Larry Sinclair in litigation against anonymous Democratic Underground blog commenters. For more on Sibley, see Overlawyered’s Montgomery Blair Sibley tag.

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We’ve had a lot of Montgomery Blair Sibley coverage over the years:

And we didn’t even mention his work representing Larry Sinclair (the fellow who unsuccessfully sued Barack Obama for denying Sinclair’s implausible claim that he had engaged in a homosexual tryst with him) in a lawsuit against three anonymous bloggers. (DBKP blog, Mar. 14.)

After years of over-the-top abusive litigation, the state bar finally took action, and he has been suspended by the Florida bar for three years. No doubt, this will result in a new round of frivolous pro se collateral litigation. It took a contempt-of-court citation for failure to pay child support before the Florida bar took action, so this can hardly be considered a rousing success of the bar in policing its own, even for someone as over-the-top as Sibley. (Florida Bar v. Sibley; ABA Journal, Apr. 25; MPGS blog, May 14; h/t S.G.).

Update: Two commenters (who never appeared on Overlawyered before) implausibly defend Sibley, both posting from BellSouth accounts in Atlanta, GA. Nothing about a divorce requires one to sue seven Supreme Court justices for “judicial treason” for denying a (frivolous) certiorari petition from a frivolous lawsuit. He should have been disbarred a long time ago; that he is only being suspended, and then only because of failure to obey court orders, is appalling. He’s been a hazard to his clients and to taxpayers; so, no, I don’t think he’s a “damn good lawyer.”

Update, May 16, 2:45 AM: We originally repeated a second-hand report sent to us that Sibley had also been suspended in DC as part of reciprocal discipline. It is possible that our correspondent confused a Rule 8.1 report, made by the DC Bar counsel recommending reciprocal suspension, with an actual suspension. If a Rule 8.1 report was filed, Sibley is entitled to file a response; no oral argument is scheduled at this time (though none is required to be scheduled) and no DC Board on Professional Responsibility report is listed as having issued with respect to Sibley. Rule 8.4 of the DC Board on Professional Responsibility Rules of Procedure is titled “Conclusive Effect of Adjudication in Other Jurisdiction,” which would appear to give Sibley nothing to argue in DC, and would likely make discipline inevitable, but the District of Columbia, in its typical competence, has posted the wrong text for 8.4 on its website, so I cannot say that for certain. Montgomery Sibley is, as of May 16, still listed on the DC Bar’s website as a member in good standing. If the error is ours, rather than that of the DC Bar website, we regret the error. Without written confirmation of the suspension, we retract the original statement that the DC Bar has suspended Sibley in response to the Florida bar’s three-year suspension of Sibley.

Update, May 20: We were right the first time.

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Roundup, March 15

by Ted Frank on March 15, 2008

  • Speaking of prostitutes and politicians, Deborah Jeane Palfrey has come to recognize that Montgomery Blair Sibley (Oct. 29; May 4; etc.) may not be the best lawyer for her. [WTOP via BLT]
  • Update: Nearly two years later, trial court gets around to upholding $2 million verdict in lawn-mower death we covered Jun. 16 and Aug. 18, 2006. [Roanoke Times (quoting me); opinion at On Point]
  • In other lawn mower news, check out Jim Beck’s perceptive comment on a Third Circuit lawn-mower liability decision.
  • Update: Willie Gary wins his child-support dispute. [Gary v. Gowins (Ga.); Atl. Journal-Const.; via ABA Journal; earlier: Nov. 2]
  • Tobacco-lawyer Mike Ciresi drops out of Minnesota senate race. [WCCO]
  • Belfast court quashes libel ruling against restaurant critic. [AFP/Breitbart]
  • Trial-lawyer-blogger happy: jury returned $1.25 million med-mal verdict for death of totally disabled person suffering from end-stage renal disease, pulmonary hypertension, oxygen dependent lung disease, and obesity, after rejecting businessperson from jury “for cause” because he was head of local Chamber of Commerce. [Day]
  • Car-keying anti-military attorney Jay Grodner faced the law in January; here’s the transcript. [Blackfive]
  • Anonymous blog post not reliable evidence of factual allegations. [In re Pfizer, Inc. Sec. Litig., 2008 WL 540120 (S.D.N.Y. Feb. 28, 2008) via Roberts, who also reports on fee reduction in same post]
  • Clinton’s nutty mortgage plan. [B&MI (quoting me)]
  • A supposed DC cabbie’s take on DC v. Heller. [DC Cabbie blog]

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You guessed it: it’s the Jack Thompson Florida folly discussed here a couple of weeks ago (Bonnie Goldstein, Slate, Mar. 7). Bonus: the court includes a reference to the precedents set by Montgomery Blair Sibley in his struggles with the Florida bar (earlier). P.S. More from Dennis McCauley at GamePolitics who exchanges emails with Thompson regarding his use of a photo of burned-out Hiroshima to presage what may “figuratively” happen to the Florida bar if he gets sanctioned.

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November 8 roundup

by Ted Frank on November 8, 2007

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SCOTUSblog reports:

In an unusual order, with seven of the nine Justices not taking part, the Court summarily upheld a D.C. Circuit Court ruling that those Justices had immunity to a civil damages claim of $75,000 by a Washington, D.C., attorney who has challenged the Court for an earlier refusal to hear his case. Since those seven members of the Court were directly sued, they were recused; under federal law, when the Court does not have a quorum (six Justices minimum), the effect is to affirm the lower court ruling. The attorney, Montgomery Blair Sibley, had sued the Justices after they had denied review of a case involving a domestic relations and child custody dispute. In Monday’s order, no Justice made any comment on the Circuit Court ruling being affirmed.

Earlier on Overlawyered.

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The Legal Times has a great deal more about the litigiousness of Mr. Sibley:

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Palfrey and Sibley update

by Ted Frank on March 20, 2007

Today’s WaPo has more on the temporary restraining order against Deborah Jeane Palfrey’s sale of her phone records, which we discussed Mar. 17. Available for your viewing pleasure is the redacted government’s TRO application, which was just unsealed, and has some entertaining anecdotes of attorney Montgomery Blair Sibley’s litigation history. Palfrey now has her own (easily googlable, we won’t link to it) website, which includes her civil complaint against one of her alleged escorts (which the government alleges is an attempt to harass a witness in the criminal case), and a page of phone records, which Josh Marshall’s commenters have already begun tracking down.

…which may not necessarily mean that some people can’t even give it away:

A federal judge ruled Friday that a former escort service owner cannot sell phone records and other documents that could be used to publicly identify thousands of her clients…. [Deborah Jeane] Palfrey’s civil attorney, Montgomery Blair Sibley, said Friday he does not believe the judge’s order bars him from distributing copies of the phone records for free. In any event, Sibley said it’s a moot point because he has already given copies of the records to an undisclosed news organization.

(“Judge Blocks Former D.C. Madame From Selling Client List”, AP/FoxNews.com, Mar. 16; SF Chronicle; WTOP). Background: Mar. 13.

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Washington, D.C. has been on edge lately over the news that Deborah Jeane Palfrey, facing charges of running a pricey call girl operation in the capital, wants to sell her list of 10,000 clients and 46 pounds of phone records to the highest bidder to raise money for her legal defense. (Scott McCabe, “Accused D.C. madame’s client list remains in limbo”, Washington Examiner, Mar. 10; Fox News, Mar. 9; Anne Schroeder, Politico, Mar. 1; TPM Muckraker, Dec. 7, Mar. 1, Mar. 7, Mar. 9). Palfrey’s attorney and adviser, Montgomery Blair Sibley, says numerous overtures for purchase have already come in, that efforts are underway aimed at “mining the data to identify individuals,” and that his client will do her part in cooperating with the buyer of the data to identify clients. Attorney Sibley is quoted in the Examiner as teasing journalists about the newsworthy nature of the client names: “You won’t be disappointed.”

Something about the name of Palfrey’s attorney, Montgomery Blair Sibley, rang a bell from the past. Was it the historical resonance of his having been named after a member of Lincoln’s cabinet? Or his having once headed an organization called Forfeiture Endangers American Rights, which I’ve had occasion to cite favorably for its work against police and prosecutorial abuses? No, that wasn’t it. Oh, wait, here it is: an Overlawyered entry from March 7 of last year about how Arthur Vanmoor, a South Florida man accused of running one of the largest prostitution rings in the Southeast, had taken the step of suing his own former clients for getting him in trouble (seems they had signed credit card slips which read “Cardholder states that this transaction is not for illegal activity”). As I noted then, “One wonders whether the possibility of [publicity for the "johns" being sued] might be one factor influencing the prospective settlement value, if any, of the new round of suits.” Vanmoor’s attorney appeared on Tucker Carlson’s “The Situation” to discuss the strategem, with entertaining results. His name? Montgomery Sibley.

Maybe Mr. Sibley can adopt as a new promotional slogan for his law practice, “Turning your client lists into gold.”

Partners in crime dept.: “A Dutch man who served time in jail and was deported for running one of the largest escort services in the Southeast has sued six former customers.” Arthur Vanmoor, 46, who used aliases such as “Big Pimpin’ Pappy” and whose South Florida enterprise “accounted for up to 90 percent of the escort service listings in Broward County’s 2002 Yellow Pages”, claims his customers got him in trouble by breaking the law and violating their contracts with him. “To pay the $245-per-hour escort fee, the men signed a credit card slip that said, ‘Cardholder states that this transaction is not for illegal activity,’ said Vanmoor’s attorney, Montgomery Sibley.” (AP/NBC6.net, Feb. 27).

Montgomery Sibley, attorney for Vanmoor, appeared on Tucker Carlson’s “The Situation” Mar. 1 to explain his client’s case; see this amusing account with video. A Google search reveals that a Florida attorney named Montgomery Blair Sibley, proceeding pro se, sued federal judicial officials including the nine members of the U.S. Supreme Court (including “Steven” Breyer) demanding a million dollars in damages from the Justices individually for various purported offenses which included not granting certiorari review to a domestic dispute Sibley was involved in. Sibley took his case up to the Eleventh Circuit (PDF), but did not prevail.

According to the South Florida Sun-Sentinel, “Vanmoor is known for his litigious nature. In the past decade, he has been a plaintiff or defendant in 29 lawsuits in Broward County alone. He has sued businesses that challenged him, police departments that investigated him, an assistant state attorney who prosecuted him and journalists who reported on him.” (Sean Gardiner, “Man charged in Broward prostitution ring sues his clients”, Feb. 27). The alleged johns have not been named in the latest round of news coverage, so far as a cursory search of coverage reveals. One wonders whether the possibility of such publicity might be one factor influencing the prospective settlement value, if any, of the new round of suits.